Could a Memory Foam Mattress Cause Tinnitus?

Discussion in 'Support' started by charlieH, Apr 14, 2015.

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    1. charlieH

      charlieH Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2015
      My tinnitus started recently along with some other problems so I've been trying to figure out what could've caused it. The only difference I can think of is I replaced my old mattress with a memory foam one. It's probably unrelated but I notice the ringing is much worse when I wake and then fades as I get up and do things, so it crossed my mind. Could there be any connection there? I hope not, it's a really comfortable bed. ;)
       
    2. Danny Boy
      Cheerful

      Danny Boy Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      England
      Tinnitus Since:
      7/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear infection
      I've had a tempur mattress years before I got tinnitus. So don't know how memory foam could cause tinnitus? Really love the tempur mattress!
       
    3. Cheza
      Wishful

      Cheza Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Oregon
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Barking dogs/stress
      The only thing that comes to mind is maybe if your new mattress is much softer, then it might have changed the alignment of your neck and spine.

      I have a firm memory foam topper on top of a firm mattress, and I love it. My pillow is memory foam also. Memory foam is one of the greatest inventions of all time. :)
       
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    4. Danny Boy
      Cheerful

      Danny Boy Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      England
      Tinnitus Since:
      7/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear infection
      You ever tried tempur?
       
    5. Thongjy
      Balanced

      Thongjy Member

      Location:
      Singapore
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unsure
      i tried but very expensive.
       
    6. Danny Boy
      Cheerful

      Danny Boy Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      England
      Tinnitus Since:
      7/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear infection
      I've got one myself and it's so worth it! I mean, we spend most of our time in our shoes and bed, so why not invest, right?
       
    7. linearb
      Psychedelic

      linearb Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      East Coast USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      1998
      New mattresses of all kinds, and foam especially, off gas a lot during the first few months.

      Whether or not that can cause tinnitus, I have no idea, but those fumes are not good for you...
       
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    8. Cheza
      Wishful

      Cheza Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Oregon
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Barking dogs/stress
      I don't have that kind of money. The topper works great, though. I buy one every 3 to 4 years, costs about $100.
       
    9. Danny Boy
      Cheerful

      Danny Boy Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      England
      Tinnitus Since:
      7/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear infection
      Fair enough.
       
    10. Dr. Ancill

      Dr. Ancill Member Clinician

      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2013
      No it can't
       
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    11. Danny Boy
      Cheerful

      Danny Boy Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      England
      Tinnitus Since:
      7/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear infection
      http://www.myessentia.com/learn/the-icky-truth/list-of-chemicals-in-mattresses/
       
    12. Geo

      Geo Member Benefactor

      Location:
      California
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2012
      wow ive heard it all now, i doubt it man
       
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    13. @Geo Doesn't beat the earlier post from today, though ironically sleeping was involved.
       
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    14. Danny Boy
      Cheerful

      Danny Boy Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      England
      Tinnitus Since:
      7/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear infection
      Lol, I know...You get some strange questions...But it shows how desperate people are to find what caused their tinnitus.
       
    15. LadyDi
      Busy

      LadyDi Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Florida, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Barotrauma/airplane
      Many people -- and their doctors -- never know for certain what caused their tinnitus. I doubt it was your mattress, but who knows?
      Also, it's very common for your T to be louder when you first wake up, then diminish as your brain becomes distracted with daily activities. That's the case with me.
       
    16. Danny Boy
      Cheerful

      Danny Boy Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      England
      Tinnitus Since:
      7/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear infection
      Yep, even mine is louder when I wake up...So annoying.
       
    17. Leodavinci
      Wishful

      Leodavinci Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Kansas
      Tinnitus Since:
      6/26/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      I would not rule out a spinal nerve that may be aggravated by poor sleeping posture. Perhaps a TMJ aggravation as well. But, you say its comfortable so it sounds like it is not causing an alignment issue. I recently got rid of my memory foam because it was not offering enough support and it became painful to sleep on it the last several days before my spring mattress arrived. I was sleeping on the old memory foam when my T began. Don't be shy to pursue every theory no matter how absurd it sounds to others.

      Everyone in the western world in the last 35 years was raised to believe that a low fat, high carbohydrate diet was healthiest and that saturated fat caused heart disease. When you consider the importance of this nutritional advice, the number of people affected and how it turned out to be basically the opposite of a good diet you really have to be astonished (see Gary Taubes). Before low carb books and authors started to reexamine the data you would have been branded an idiot for thinking that Eggs and high fat foods were healthy while the bread basket photo at the bottom of the old food guide pyramid was the source of chronic illness. No health authority in the US is going to admit this huge failure.
       
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    18. Kaelon
      Wishful

      Kaelon Member Benefactor Team Tech Team Awareness Team Research

      Location:
      Boston, Mass.
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Muscle Spasms
      @Cheza and @Leodavinci are both correct. Neuromuscular Inflammation is a major cause of Tinnitus (affecting about 30% of all Tinnitus sufferers), and it is generally believed that the inflammation is occurring in the neck, head, back, or jaw muscles -- all of which are deeply intertwined and interconnected, so a spasm in one is likely to reverberate across the entire system.

      Changes in sleeping position are definitely a major culprit in cervical issues that lead to spasms and cause tinnitus. However, jaw clenching is just as likely a factor. If you believe that the only new factor that was introduced was your bed, I strongly recommend you try sleeping in another bed for a few nights and see if this helps you. If you notice a significant improvement, it's a fair assumption to make that postural issues have been the chronic underpinning for your tinnitus, and your bed was the "straw the broke the camel's back." Physical Therapy is your best bet.
       
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    19. Nucleo

      Nucleo Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2011
      IMO the cause is almost always an injury the hearing apparatus of any kind. Audiograms do not rule out the possibility of auditory nerve damage or central neuropathy. It seems many do not want to accept that their tinnitus is likely caused by what is currently irreversible damage.
       
    20. Kaelon
      Wishful

      Kaelon Member Benefactor Team Tech Team Awareness Team Research

      Location:
      Boston, Mass.
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Muscle Spasms
      I understand that this is your opinion, but the data and research doesn't actually support this view. My own research, which is really just reviewing published medical studies and (especially in the past few months) ground-breaking discoveries about how Tinnitus works backs up a few basic truths:
      1. Tinnitus is just a symptom - it's a symptom of a neurological deficiency related to the auditory system, but the cause is not always auditory. In fact, in over one-third of all cases, Tinnitus is caused by conditions that have nothing to do with your hearing organs whatsoever.

      2. Tinnitus is widespread, and the reason it bothers us, is because our minds have become neurologically disturbed by the stimulus. 10% of humans experience constant Tinnitus, and about 2% of humans get tinnitus that is so intrusive that it disrupts their daily routines. About 98% of all humans do experience tinnitus throughout their lives, making this a fairly common condition. It is not exclusively caused by "irreversible damage."
      3. Evidence of this is in fairly interesting -- but shockingly wide-spread -- forms of tinnitus that exist throughout the world. "Gazing" tinnitus (for example, staring hard at objects producing a tinnitus sound), or other forms of Somatic tinnitus (clenching or grinding teeth, flexing the neck) are all non-permanent forms of spontaneous tinnitus that many people (as many as 50% of humans) can cause on-demand. This is caused by a neuromuscular interference with the Dorsal Cochlear Nucleus, the section of the brainstem immediately at the top of the spine responsible for filtering the inputs from the cochlea.

      4. In order for people to experience Tinnitus, there needs to be a "perfect storm" of conditions - damage to the auditory nerves, and "central neuropathy" do not cause tinnitus in most cases. While it is true that most tinnitus sufferers have some form of neurological damage to their brains, in most cases, this damage is not permanent. Even people who have acquired tinnitus due to damaged cochlea are able to silence or banish the tinnitus through cochlear implants that restore hearing. There are many options here to treat and resolve.

      5. Aside from auditory damage (~two-thirds) and neuromuscular inflammation (about 30%), there are numerous other causes of tinnitus that while exceedingly rare, are all generally well understood and treatable, including neurovascular compressions (arterial loops, for instance) and neurological deficits (such as tumors or strokes).
      The big problem with Tinnitus, honestly, is that it is just very difficult to diagnose its cause. Again, since Tinnitus is just a neurological symptom, and medical science has a very poor understanding of the brain and its functioning (at least compared to other organs which are much simpler), about half of all Tinnitus cases will never be able to be properly diagnosed. This leads a lot of people to dark places, because it's only human nature to believe that "if they don't know what's causing it, I'll never be able to get past this thing."

      Tinnitus can be overcome. From habituation and transtympanic medications, to benzodiazepines and electro-neural therapies, we are getting closer to understanding that Tinnitus is a complex breakdown of neurological processes and the fix may be just around the corner for many people.

      J.
       
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    21. Nucleo

      Nucleo Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2011
      Saying 1/3 of tinnitus cases that have nothing to do with the auditory system is a pretty bold claim. I have not seen any academic research suggesting that. In fact, there has been overwhelming evidence that tinnitus patients with no deterioration of hearing thresholds have abnormal auditory brainstem responses, suggesting an homeostatic response to cochlear neuropathy. Such neuropathy can also affect the function of Outer Hair cells, as the efferent nerve fibers that control these cells could be compromised. All these problems of the hearing apparatus cannot be ruled out with a conventional pure tone audiogram. I am not aware if these types of dysfunctions are also seen in tinnitus patients with diagnosed hearing loss. These tests are almost never used outside of research settings so I guess we won't know.

      http://tia.sagepub.com/content/18/2331216514550621.full

      Regarding the compromised Dorsal Cochlear Nexus, have you considered the possibility that it might be the other way around? The most elegant way I've seen it explained is like this:

      A loss of afferent auditory nerve activity may cause re-routing of neurons. As an homeostatic response, somatic sensory signals make their way to the auditory portion of the brainstem. This in turn manifests as what people refer to somatic tinnitus. The majority of tinnitus patients can alter the tinnitus sound by body movements, even those who can easily identify the cause of their tinnitus to an obvious acoustic trama.

      This is only speculation at this point in time though as I am not aware of definite studies regarding the implication of the DCN in hearing disorders.

      I would only feel comfortable telling someone their tinnitus is not caused by an auditory problem if those conditions are met:
      • Normal audiogram. No dips or no notches.
      • Normal tympanometry to rule out ETD or any middle ear condition
      • Normal otoacoustic emissions
      • Normal auditory brainstem response
      • No head trauma/concussions
      • Structural damage to the TMJ by X-ray/MRI
      • If there are other obvious symptoms of musculoskeletic nature (soreness, pain etc...)
      But alas, these tests are not routinely done and little data is available, if any.
       
    22. linearb
      Psychedelic

      linearb Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      East Coast USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      1998
      Probably 99% of people will exhibit one or more of those things, and yet only 10% of people have tinnitus. So, saying "it's an auditory problem" is a gross simplification at best. Meaning, anyone over the age of 35 or so in an industrialized society will have some amount of high-frequency loss, most of those people do not have tinnitus, so, tinnitus must result from something more/different than hearing loss. Until we know what all those somethings are, any claim about how much/little hearing itself has to do with tinnitus, seems dubious to me.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    23. Nucleo

      Nucleo Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2011
      I do not think it's an oversimplification to say that tinnitus comes from dysfunction of the hearing organs when the primary etiologies of tinnitus is either acoustic trauma or otitis media. There clearly needs to be a trigger event involving the ear for tinnitus to develop.

      Yes but in those 10% who do end up having tinnitus I suspect that there will at least be one specialized hearing test that will come out abnormal. Since there's hardly data being gathered in this regard we will never know for sure. ENT evaluations are often limited to an audiogram whether it comes back normal or not.

      We have some evidence that tinnitus and/or hyperacusis doesn't come solely from damage to the cochlear mechanoreceptors alone. It seems that remodeling of neurological pathways between the inner ear and the brain, often preceded by a traumatic insult to the hearing apparatus.

      I feel confident to say that almost everyone with profound deafness/hearing loss will have some degree of tinnitus. Again, as most tinnitus related things, data is lacking.

      This post is to adress to the people who spend thousands of dollars on TMJ treatments without TMJ problems or physical therapy with no physical issues because they think it might be the cause of their tinnitus. Sometimes even if they developped tinnitus after going hunting without hearing protection or going to a concert. If hearing tests come back abnormal the search can end there.

      Anyways to get back to the topic,

      No bloody way is your mattress the cause of your tinnitus. Rest easy.
       
    24. Kaelon
      Wishful

      Kaelon Member Benefactor Team Tech Team Awareness Team Research

      Location:
      Boston, Mass.
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Muscle Spasms
      @linearb is right on this, @Nucleo. In particular, there is a lot of compelling research that has been done on the dorsal cochlear nucleus, or DCN, not as the antagonist, but as the receptor, of a dysfunction that causes it to be inhibited or erroneously activated thereby generating tinnitus. Again, Dr. Levine's paper on pubmed is the start of the research, but just as important are the numerous new studies that have come out focusing on the somatosensory stimulus as the defining characteristic of this behavior.

      Bottom line: I am convinced, through my research, that almost everyone who has predominantly somatic tinnitus suffers from a compromised DCN, and that almost everyone who has dysfunction in their DCN has had chronic, if not life-long, factors that made them predisposed to this dysfunction to begin with. I cited a few of those in my post to you, @Nucleo, but the common story goes something like this: "I've always been able to cause tinnitus sounds through some body movement before, and never thought anything of it, because it wasn't permanent. Now it is permanent, I'm noticing it everywhere, and I can't make it stop!"
       
    25. eagleseek

      eagleseek Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2000
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Pillow
      Hi folks,
      I have had Tinnitus for over 5 years. It started when a friend brought me a memory or bamboo pillow, can't remember but it was some sort of health pillow!
      The next day I had Tinnitus till now.
      Recently I have found that if I tilt my head all the way back to the right, I get dizzy and my head starts to spin.
      I have found that if I shut my eyes when this happens it hardly effects me.
      If I try to do the same thing again, I don't get dizzy.
      My Tinnitus is in the left ear only and I'm beginning to think that it could be some bacterial infection that the doctors seem to miss.
      If I don't think of it or busy at work the tinnitus doesn't effect me.
      To get some relief I push me head against me left hand then the tinnitus is loud whilst doing that but it is quieter after.
      May I say this that the only time I had ringing in the ears before I got it permanently was if I had a flu or similar, just before it went I had a tone in my head then not long after the flu would be gone. Maybe it was the rise in temperature or something.
      Thanks for reading...
       

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